Upheaval and unfortunate incidents can strengthen us - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Upheaval and unfortunate incidents can strengthen us

February 11th, 2021 SanTan Sun News
Upheaval and unfortunate incidents can strengthen us

Rabbi Irwin Wiener, D.D.
Guest Writer

The Scriptures are filled with anecdotes describing acts of one human being toward another to enhance their values and encourage humanities call for good.  There are so many ways to accomplish benevolence and consideration. 

Hopefully, during our journey we will encounter individuals who personify the essence of dignified human behavior. I was thinking of this as I watched a movie entitled, “St. Vincent.” I expected to laugh myself silly, but instead I received a better understanding of the goodness of people and how they are overlooked at times. 

We find a grumpy old man, dissatisfied with life, unable to cope with everyday living and resentful of people in general.  The storyline is interesting because, in my experience, it could be depicting anyone of us.

  Then, we come across someone who lights up our lives, brings meaning to our experiences and leads us into a new understanding that there is goodness in this world.  We are so accustomed to hearing only the ugly side of life.

This leads us to question the value of goodness. The people who make a difference in our lives epitomize another concept: Deeds of kindness are equal to all the commandments. How can we exist without connection for each other? If we lived in a vacuum, our lives would be meaningless.

We are living in a time that brings to the forefront the value of goodness and mercy.  The medical professionals, the everyday worker who toils in the vineyard of service, the ones responsible for our safety, both at home and abroad, all enable us to realize that we are here for each other.

We are all products of our environment. Some of us are trapped by them and some are able to break loose and change what is deemed unfit. We are taught that God does not care about what our ancestors did, but what we do at this time.

While Scripture may talk about the sins of the past generations carrying forward to the next, it is not a signal that all is hopeless; rather it is an indication that if we do not change our ways, in some respects, we are destined to repeat the bad and thereby condemn ourselves to the same pain and misery.

Goodness can be found deep down if we look hard enough. We should try not to dismiss the values we are capable of. We should not demonize those who epitomize these virtues. We should, instead, honor them.

All may not be able to be considered saints, but the handle is not the important aspect of goodness. Actions and deeds are the passport to the feelings of saintliness.

All these thoughts came to mind when I saw the movie. It became even clearer as I witness each and every day the sacrifices made by so many as they attempt to minister to the needs of the stricken. However, if we stop for a moment and consider the people we meet on our journey, we will find that most are kind and generous.

We tend to shy away from those who are hurtful because life is filled with all sorts of hurts and disappointments.

As we continue to experience the difficulties of sickness and death, perhaps we should consider that upheaval and unfortunate incidents can give us strength. Our endurance is measured by our ability to overcome the discouraging aspects of our experiences.

Looking heavenly we can see that there is beauty in the sky. The vastness of the universe, perhaps, can teach us that our opportunities are limitless. Hope in the future can give us the ability to remain steadfast in our determination to live life, enjoy life so we can survive and share this joy with everyone we know and will meet.

We will persevere. There will be a brighter tomorrow. Be grateful for every day, every hour, every minute.